Current objective for the Washburn men’s basketball team: get back to basics.
Looking to bounce back from two consecutive losses, Washburn (10-4, 3-2 MIAA) will return to the court Thursday night at Lincoln University’s Jason Gymnasium. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Washburn’s most recent loss came to the hands of Northeastern State, by the margin of 85-78. Washburn held its own offensively, as point guard Will McNeill paced the 23 points. But the Riverhawks played lights out on offense, burying 58 percent of their shots from the field.
Prior to the loss against the Riverhawks, Washburn struggled at home against Truman State University, losing 64-56. Washburn coach Bob Chipman said the loss against Truman was especially tough.
“We’re all disappointed I think, especially when you lose at home to Truman State,” said Chipman. “That’s not what we were expecting. It’s been a pretty good eye opener for us.”
One of the recent issues Washburn must now find a way to surpass is the loss of forward Alex North to injury. Thursday’s game will be Washburn’s fifth consecutive game without North. He was looked to as a strong presence inside when healthy.
“I think Alex is one of our toughest kids and hardest workers, along with Bobby Chipman,” said Chipman. “When you lose Alex, you lose a lot of toughness.”
Washburn’s opponent, Lincoln (3-15, 2-6 MIAA), is coming off a 69-50 loss to Lindenwood and opens a three-game homestand with their game against the Ichabods.
Chipman said his team’s first focus in games needs to come in fundamentals, such as defense and rebounding.
“We’re going back to work,” said Chipman. “We’re looking to get sting back in the defense, toughness on the boards and everyone to a man working harder.”
He said he’s seen a change in practice since the losses.
“We’ve been practicing harder, longer and with more time on the defense,” said Chipman.
Following Thursday’s contest, Washburn will travel Saturday to St. Charles, Mo., where they will face Lindenwood University. Tipoff for Saturday is set for 3 p.m.